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Eduardo Xol
(February 19, 1966 - living) U.S.A.

Eduardo Xol

Designer

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Born in East Los Angeles, California, to Mexican parents, Eduardo, after working as an actor and model in Mexico, went on to become a successful Latin Pop Star, and an openly gay one at that. After burning out on the music scene he discovered his love of landscape design, which eventually lead to a successful landscaping business and then to Extreme Makeover.

Eduardo's multicultural experience of being raised in a predominantly Asian and Latino community shapes his aesthetic influences as a landscape designer. Throughout his life, he assisted his father in raising and pruning bonsai (miniature trees). This hobby gave him a deep appreciation for shape, texture and clean lines. His strong connection to his Mexican heritage gives him a love of rich, vibrant colors and rhythm in the garden.

Before breaking ground as a landscape designer, Eduardo was an accomplished keyboardist and percussionist. He was one of the youngest musicians to be scouted and selected to perform with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of ten. Eduardo's openness is especially surprising when you consider that there are virtually no openly gay Latin performers.

"I was living this double life," recalls Xol, who was once named by Elle magazine as one of Latin America's most eligible bachelors. "I was building this myth about who I was. Whenever I came back [home], I used to feel this weight being lifted off my shoulders because I could finally be free again. In Mexico I was depressed much of the time, but I didn't know why."

His father did. "My dad told me that I would become depressed if I kept the charade up for much longer," Xol says. "And I blew him off at the time, but he was right. He told me that to be a real man I had to be honest with myself and others. I mean, how many gay men would love to have a father like that?"

Xol based himself in San Francisco in 1998, where he formed his own label, Mythic Music Group, with two partners - and where he encountered homophobia. "All my friends said, 'You know you can't be out, right?'" Xol says. "And I was angry at that attitude. But I knew exactly where they were coming from. As a performer, most of what you are selling is a fantasy, and that fantasy gets blown if women know you're gay. So I didn't know what to do."

Then Matthew Shepard was killed, and, Xol says, his decision was made for him. "I realized then that the last thing the world needed was another closeted gay performer," says the singer, who is working on a bilingual album and looking forward to the release of Bravo, an independent movie that casts him as a villain, "I realize that by being out, I am limiting my level of success. I understand that, and I don't regret it."

But Eduardo's passion for the arts extends beyond playing music. While studying theatre arts at UCLA, he produced several hit musical theatre and comedy revues that toured throughout the U.S. Shortly thereafter, he headed south to Latin America, where he found fame as a star of music, television and videos. He starred in several worldwide-syndicated telenovelas (soap operas), including "Sentimientos Ajenos," "La Jaula de Oro" and "Acapulco Cuerpo y Alma."

Over the last few years, Eduardo has transferred his experience in musical composition and television production into the world of exterior design. After assisting other well-known landscape designers and architects in Los Angeles, he began developing his own design niche and clientele. His firm, Xol Creative, works on projects that range from backyard makeovers and balcony retreats to multi-million dollar estates.

Having divided his time between the United States and Mexico for the past two decades, Eduardo now makes Los Angeles his permanent home. However, he's excited by the opportunity that "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" gives him to visit the many wonderful cities that truly make up the heart and soul of America.

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